Fresh off of their second straight overtime victory, the Florida Panthers (8-7-1) will continue their Canadian road trip in Toronto, as they face off against the Maple Leafs (7-6-3) Thursday at 7:30 PM ET (TSN4). Through the first 16 games this season, the Panthers and Leafs are tied with 17 points apiece. The Leafs, led by veteran left winger James van Riemsdyk (seven goals, eight assists), broke out offensively on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators. Van Riemsdyk netted a hat trick and added an assist in a 6-2 drubbing of the struggling Predators.
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The Panthers will attempt to push their winning stream to three games for the first time this season. Team leader in points, Jonathan Marchessault (eight goals, six assists), and goaltender Roberto Luongo (2.36 goals against average, .916 save percentage) will look to extend their solid starts to the 2016-17 campaign. The Panthers picked up two key veteran defensemen in the offseason in Keith Yandle (zero goals, eight assists) and Jason Demers (two goals, five assists) to round out their otherwise inexperienced defensive corps. Look for the Panthers to lean heavily on their veteran d-men and Luongo as they attempt to hold off a young and unpredictable Leafs’ lineup.
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